John J. Cali School of Music - Fall 2014


Director’s Corner...

Welcome to the John J. Cali School of Music's Fall 2014 e-Newsletter.

This season, our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and esteemed visiting artists join forces for an exciting series of more than 300 performances at on- and off-campus venues, including the Leshowitz Recital Hall, the Alexander Kasser Theater, the Van Vleck House, and Carnegie Hall. You’ll hear symphonies by Schumann, choral works by Handel, and great wind symphony and jazz ensemble standards.

This December, the choir highlights one of our alumni, Martin Sedek, in the world premier of his work Gifts of the Season. Sedek’s new work, written for choir and two pianos, celebrates the 40th anniversary of piano faculty member, Dr. Ruth Rendleman. Also celebrating 40 years of commitment to artistry in music at Montclair State University is Dr. Ting Ho whose new work, Urban, received its world premier at the recent MSU Symphony concert.

This year, the John J. Cali School of Music continues our Chamber Music Series at the historic Van Vleck House, and three very special performances at Carnegie Hall:  the Wind Symphony in the New York Season of Giving Gala Concert; the MSU Symphony in Tim Janis’ The American Christmas Carol with flutist Sir James Galway; and the inaugural MSU Graduate string quartet in their Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Concert Hall.  In February, the Graduate String Quartet and faculty members of the Cali School of Music, under the direction of Ken Lam, will perform Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with world-renowned mezzo soprano Denyce Graves at Leshowitz Recital Hall.

Last June, the Cali School of Music hosted its first conference, "Giving Voice To Democracy in Music Education." This conference presented lectures on progressive teaching practices centered on developing young musicians in a democratic society. Featured speakers included Dr. David Elliott, celebrated author of Music Matters, Dr. Nicholas Michelli, international spokesperson and author for education as democratic practice, and Dr. Paul G. Woodford, distinguished author of Democracy and Music Education. The conference was a great success, and continuing our commitment to democracy in music, the Music Education program is planning Music Bridge 2015  – a summer music camp focused on providing access to excellent musical training for students of color.

Expanding our horizons, the Cali School of Music has added two new world music ensembles to our curriculum – African drumming and Balkan Music Ensembles - and we are actively pursuing the addition of a Javanese Gamelan.  So, whether your musical interests are in band, chorus, jazz, opera, orchestra, or non-western forms, it’s all here in the John J. Cali School of Music. I look forward to seeing you at of our events.

Dr. Robert Cart


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Read about our faculty's recent achievements here.


Nathan Sonnenfeld (BMus, Music Education '15) performed at the Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC); Aurora Mendez  (BMus, Performance '16) performed with National Orquesta of Chile and taught with the violin outreach program of a foundation (Santiago, Chile); Beatrice Naumann (BMus, Performance '15) participated in the Oberlin Historical Performance/ Baroque Violin seminar; Jhi-Eun Gu (BMus, Music Education '15) served as a counselor/coach at the ASTA/NJ Chamber Music Institute (Rutgers University). All are students of Adjunct Professor Mary Ann Mumm.

In June, Michael Mahadeen (MA, Theory-Composition '15) performed in a production of Hairspray at the Mayo Center in Morristown, NJ. In July and August, he performed Hairspray Jr. at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. He continued a year-long project writing conducting excerpts for Connect4Education, a web-based music instruction publisher.

Dayeong Kang (Artist's Diploma, voice '14) and Irene Kim (Artist's Diploma, voice '16) participated in the Vocal Arts Festiva (Colorado Springs, CO). The served as understudies for the Festival's production of The King and I.

Thomas Kurtz (BMus, Music Education '17), a student of Chad Smith, was a finalist in the Rico Take First Competition.


Minyoung Park (Artist's Diploma, piano '14) was accepted for a Master's in Accompanying degree at the Manhattan School of Music.

Tyler Rubin (BMus, Theory-Composition '14) was accepted into the graduate program at the Tisch School at New York University.